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Foxconn, Apple and the partnership that changed the tech sector

The pair is basking in shared success -- and facing shared risks

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Foxconn, led by Chairman Terry Gou, played a key role in realizing Apple's aesthetic vision for products like the iPad.   © Reuters

PALO ALTO, U.S. For Apple, Hon Hai Precision Industry is not just a subcontractor. It is a business partner. And though both sides are taking steps to reduce their mutual dependence, their fortunes remain very much entwined.

Their ties deepened in 2000, when Foxconn Technology Group -- as Hon Hai is known -- landed an order to produce Apple's iMacs. The duo had worked together on parts production before, but this was a major turning point. Apple's high quality standards forced the Taiwanese supplier to sharpen its technological edge.

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